3

Aram Shelton: Everything for Somebody

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Aram Shelton: Everything for Somebody Currently based in Oakland, California, alto saxophonist Aram Shelton initially rose to prominence as a member of the fertile Chicago jazz scene, where he resided from 1999-2005. His tenure in the Windy City resulted in a number of lasting relationships; one of the most notable is his Quartet with tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Tim Daisy. Featuring some of Chicago's finest young improvisers, Everything for Somebody is the group's sophomore release, following These Times, its 2010 Singlespeed Music debut.

Shelton's frequent visits to the Midwest have provided numerous opportunities to rehearse new material with his band mates before recording—as with this session. Their studied familiarity with Shelton's edgy aesthetic is revealed in lyrically sophisticated extrapolations that unfold as dramatic personalized narratives bolstered by textural and tonal abstractions. Together their singular variations yield a collective expression greater than the sum of its parts.

Although the influence of post-war innovators like Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy are obvious touchstones for Shelton's approach, he never resorts to slavish imitation. Bringing Shelton's engaging pieces to life, the Quartet's congenial accord is immediately evident in the buoyant set opener, "Anticipation," which features Jackson and Shelton alternating probing motifs underpinned by Hatwich and Daisy's fiendishly elastic, bop-inflected groove. Delving into vanguard territory, the saxophonists seamlessly modulate from scalar refrains to more subtly abstruse ruminations unbound by the constraints of conventional harmony—revealing a keen sensitivity to traditional foundations.

The swinging title track and infectious closer, "Fleeting," expand upon the accessible inside-outside territory explored in the opener, with the latter number featuring one of the leader's most exhilarating solos of the set—an intervallic excursion brimming with hairpin twists and turns. Shelton ups the ante on "Deadfall," his soulful alto harmonizing with Jackson's robust tenor before summoning a rousing collective chorus from the band. They invest the variable tempos and serpentine musings of the fractious "Barely Talking" with similarly expressionistic ardor, while the austere tone poem, "Joints and Tendons," provides subtle respite, its pointillist contours shaped by a series of introspective solo ruminations and conversational duets, unified by collective recapitulations of the theme.

Whether navigating the outer reaches of tonality or reinventing the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities of the venerable piano-less quartet, Shelton and company steadily advance the tradition forward on Everything for Somebody.

Track Listing: Anticipation; Everything for Somebody; Joints and Tendons; Barely Talking; Deadfall; Fleeting.

Personnel: Aram Shelton: alto saxophone; Keefe Jackson: tenor saxophone; Anton Hatwich: bass; Tim Daisy: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Singlespeed Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Happy
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Wede Harer Guzo" CD/LP/Track Review Wede Harer Guzo
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!